Full text of "Poems"
LIBRARY OF flfliGRESS.
'UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
THEOPHILUS H. HILL.
PUBLISHED BY HURD AND HOUGHTON,
459 Broome Street.
Entered according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1869, by
Theophilus H. Hill,
in the Clerk's office of the District Court for the Pamlico District of North
stereotyped and printed by
h. o. houghton and company.
REV. CHARLES F. DEEMS, D. D.,
PASTOR OF "THE CHURCH OF THE STRANGERS," NEW YORK,
AS A TOKEN OF SINCERE REGARD,
ARE INSCRIBED BY
The Star above the Manger 10
A Gangese Dream 14
Love among the Roses 18
The Shadow of the Rock 29
Wooed, Won, Forsaken 37
The Sunbeam 39
Pit and Pendulum ........ 43
Dum Vivimus, Vivamus 50
Indian Summer 55
The Sabbath of the Spring 56
Hope of Heaven 60
\g of the Butterfly 66
The Mother's Prayer 70
Ode to Sleep 74
Life and Death 76
Stella . 7S
The Light of the Lattice 82
St. Valentine's Day . 83
My Hopes like waning Watch-fires Glow . . 89
Despair • 100
To L. F. P. 103
Plea of the Prodigal ...... 105
Banished Rome 107
Fireside Fancies 112
Proemial Stanzas . . 117
A Serio-Comic Poem 121
To a Lady, on receiving Flowers . . . . 145
Clouds with Silver Linings 147
Qui Capit, Facit 150
Taking a Snooze . . . . . . . .154
" Pining with sorrow, Nica faded, died,
Like a fair aloe, in its morning pride."
" The tale
Of young Narcissus, and sad Echo's bale."
piNING for the beauty he
In himself alone could see,
Wan Narcissus, day by day
Wasted wofully away :
Love-lorn Echo, all in vain,
Sought the self-enamored swain, —
Calling on his name again,
And again, until the woods,
In their wildest solitudes —
Grown familiar with the strain —
Syllabled the sad refrain :
" O Narcissus ! where art thou ?
Dost, in frolic, hide thee now ?
Ah ! tis cruel thus to stay
From thine Echo all the day :
Ere the dreamy twilight shades
Purple all the dewy glades,
Truant, show thy radiant face !
Hie thee to our trysting-place ! "
Sadly sang the sorrow-laden,
Weary, wistful, wandering maiden ;
Swiftly sped the sparkling river, —
Sped the silvery Cephissus, —
Like an arrow from the quiver
Of the beautiful Narcissus,
Heedless of the tears he shed
At its far-off fountain-head.
Bending, till his golden tresses
Floated with the water-cresses,
He, athirst, had paused to drink
From the fountain's pebbly brink ;
He but loitered there to lave,
In the pure pellucid wave,
Forehead fairer than the sun
E'er before had shone upon.
Hapless child of Air and Tellus !
Thou that madest Juno jealous !
Seek no further to discover
Footprints of thy faithless lover !
In the blue, inverted skies,
Star-like splendors greet his eyes ;
Echo's eye no more may please, —
In himself, himself he sees :
When the beauteous phantom first
On his ravished vision burst,
He, mayhap, was not aware
His own face was mirrored there :
In the crystal depths, alas !
He but saw, as in a glass, —
Lips disparted, cheeks aglow,
Flushed, for all the world, as though
Roses were about to blow,
Which had budded in the snow.
Ah ! Narcissus, the transfusion —
Replication — involution
Of those false and real glances
Self-idolatry enhances :
Even should a chance beholder,
Peeping, unseen, o'er thy shoulder,
Now essay the true to sunder
From their simulacra under
Water, flushing into wine
With each rosy blush of thine,
He would die in the endeavor,
An idolater forever !
From the mockery thou viewest, —
From the fantasy thou wooest, —
Soft responsive smiles ascending,
With thine own too brightly blending,
Weave a web of subtler tissue
Than Arachne's loom may issue ;
Spell whence there is no awaking ;
Chain there is no hope of breaking;
Strong as those that bind the gory
Martyr of the mythic story
To the beetling, bleak Caucasian
Crag of an immortal passion !
Who may fittingly express
Such unreal loveliness ?
Who with truthful touch may trace
Pictures, vocal of the grace
Which informs the phantom there ?
Sylvan gods may never chase
Nymph or naiad with a face
So ethereally fair ;
Never woo to their embraces —
Three in one — the sister Graces !
Fantasy forever flies
One who fain would realize,
Undissevered from the real,
An indefinite ideal :
Who may indicate the ending,
Or beginning of the blending,
Seven, several hues that shimmer
In a rainbow growing dimmer ?
Who unravel opalescence
In its very evanescence ?
Who dispart the tints that glimmer
In the faint illusion kindled
Ere a real splendor dwindled ?
Trace upon a sunlit bubble
First an iris — then its double ?
Still more futile his essay,
Who would vividly portray
Scarce perceptible decline,
Where the substance and the shade,
Interfused — together fade !
Metaphor may not define
Stealth of gradual decay —
Toying with its tortured prey —
Growth of shade, decrease of shine,
Narcissus, in those eyes of thine !
Alas ! that one so young — so fair —
So radiant in his golden hair,
Dies in self-love, of self-despair !
Of Echo, in the reedy lake,
In the tangled hazel brake,
In the green hearts of the dells,
In the hollow ocean shells,
Only now an echo dwells ;
And where young Narcissus died,
Bending o'er the glassy tide,
Blooms a solitary flower :
Beauty is its natal dower ;
Fair and fragile is its bloom,
Faint and fleeting its perfume ;
And it ever leans to look
At its shadow in the brook.
Shouldst thou, like Narcissus, guess
Half of thine own loveliness ;
Though his fate were surely thine,
Echo's never would be mine !
Shouldst thou half thy charms discover,
Maiden, peerless as thou art,
Hope would droop within thy lover, —
Die upon his loyal heart ;
Love, though mine, with hope would
I, with life itself would part,
Sooner than survive to cherish
Thee, as other than thou art !
Knowing all thou wert before,
Self thou learnedst to adore ;
Seeing what thou then wouldst be,
I no more could bend the knee :
Love, though mine, would not retain
Fond regret for one so vain,
Longer than the fountain kept
On its bosom ripples made
By the tears Narcissus wept,
When, by self to self betrayed,
In the sparkling depths below,
He beheld the rosy glow
Waning on his cheeks of snow ;
While from out his haggard eyes
All the light that in them lay,
Like the tints of twilight skies,
Faded mournfully away !
THE STAR ABOVE THE MANGER.
/^\NE night while lowly shepherd swains
Their fleecy charge attended,
A light burst o'er Judea's plains
Far in the dusky Orient,
A star, unknown in story,
Arose to flood the firmament,
With more than morning glory.
The clustering constellations, erst
So gloriously gleaming,
Waned, when its sudden splendor burst
Upon their paler beaming :
And Heaven drew nearer Earth that
Flung wide its pearly portals, —
THE STAR ABOVE THE MANGER. I I
Sent forth from all its realms of light
Its radiant immortals :
They hovered in the golden air,
Their golden censers swinging,
And woke the drowsy shepherds there
With their seraphic singing.
Yet Earth, on this, her gala night,
No jubilee was keeping;
She lay, unconscious of the light,
In silent beauty sleeping.
No more shall brightest cherubim
And stateliest archangels
Symphonious sing such choral hymn, —
Proclaim so sweet evangels :
No more appear that star at eve,
Though glimpses of its glory
12 THE STAR ABOVE THE MANGER.
Are seen by those who still believe
The shepherds' simple story.
In Faith's clear firmament afar, —
To Unbelief a stranger, —
Forever glows the golden star
That stood above the manger.
Age after age may roll away,
But on Time's rapid river
The light of its celestial ray
Shall never cease to quiver.
Frail barges on the swelling tide
Are drifting with the ages ;
The skies grow dark — around each bark
A howling tempest rages !
Pale with affright, lost helmsmen steer,
While creaking timbers shiver ;
THE STAR ABOVE THE MANGER. I 3
The breakers roar — grim Death is near —
O who may now deliver !
Light — light from the Heraldic Star
Breaks brightly o'er the billow ;
The storm, rebuked, is fled afar,
The pilgrim seeks his pillow.
• • • • •
Lost — lost indeed his heart must be, —
His way how dark with danger, —
Whose hooded eye may never see
The star above the manger !
A GANGESE DREAM.
T^REIGHTED with fruits, aflush with
Oblations to offended powers, —
What fairy like flotillas gleam
At night on Brahma's l sacred stream ;
The while, ashore, on bended knees,
Benighted Hindoo devotees
Sue for their silvery, silken sails
The advent of auspicious gales.
Such gorgeous pageant I have seen
Drift down the Ganges, while I stood
Within the banian's bosky screen,
And gazed on his transfigured flood :
1 "The Hindoos believe that the Ganges rises immediately
from the feet of Brahma."
A GANGESE DREAM. I 5
Around each consecrated bark,
That sailed into the outer dark,
What lambent lights those lanterns gave !
What opalescent mazes played,
Reduplicated on the wave,
While to and fro, like censers swayed,
They made it luminous to glass
Their fleeting splendors ere they pass !
O'er each, as shimmering it swung,
A haze of crimson halo hung,
Begirt by folds of billowy mist,
Suffused with purpling amethyst:
From these, still fainter halos flung,
Lent each to some refracted zone
Hues of a lustre not its own,
Till satellite of satellite,
Eluding my bewildered sight,
In gloomier eddies of the stream,
Retained no more a borrowed beam.
Thus, one by one, their sparkling sails
Distended by Sabean gales,
1 6 A GANGESE DREAM.
I saw those votive vessels glide,
Resplendent o'er the swelling tide,
While each, with its attendant shade,
Or dusk, or radiant ripples made :
These flashing into fiery bloom ;
Those smouldering into garnet-gloom !
All this I saw, or else, at night,
Pursuing Fancy in her flight,
I paused beneath what seemed to be
The umbrage of a banian-tree,
And down the Ganges of a dream
Beheld that gay flotilla gleam.
It seems to me but yesterday,
Since off the beach of Promise lay
The brilliant barges Hope had wrought,
And young Desire had richly fraught,
(Alas ! how soon such tissues fade !)
With fragile stuffs whence dreams are made !
Proud owner of that fleet I stood,
A GANGESE DREAM, I 7
Gazing on the transfigured flood,
And saw its constellated sails
Expanded by propitious gales,
Till shallop after shallop flew —
As fresher yet the breezes blew —
In joyous quest of full fruition,
To swift and terrible perdition !
Some in life's vernal equinox
O'er desperate seas to wreck were driven ;
And others struck on sunken rocks,
Or, in the night, by lightning riven,
Burned to the water's edge ; while they
That, not unscathed, but still unshattered,
Survived the storm, were widely scattered:
One only kept its destined way,
To sink — no friendly consort near —
In sight of port, at close of day,
When seas were calm, and skies were
LOVE AMONG THE ROSES.
" In deepest grass beneath the whispering roof
Of leaves and trembled blossoms, where there ran
A brooklet scarce espied."
Keats' Ode to Psyche.
T HAVE found him ! Here he lies,
Weary of the chase ;
Lured by vagrant butterflies
To this shady place :
Hat in hand, he ran for hours
In and out among the flowers,
Following each golden prize
With winged feet and wistful eyes.
He dreams beneath a drooping vine,
Whose graceful trailers intertwine,
Weaving above his head a woof
Of dark green leaves and crimson flowers :
In vain through this umbrageous roof
LOVE AMONG THE ROSES. I 9
May noontide sunbeams try to peep ;
Here, time is told in twilight hours,
While " infant beauty " lies — asleep.
Gay birds and gorgeous butterflies
Flash through these " purpling glooms,"
Where zephyrs woo, with plaintive sighs,
The hearts of hidden blooms ;
Yet heedless of their happy flight,
He slumbers still, serenely bright —
Transfigured in the shifting light !
The tinkling bells of sylvan streams,
Which wind around this cool retreat,
Chime to the music of his dreams ;
For, sheltered from the glowing heat,
Their laughing, sparkling waters meet
To ripple at his rosy feet !
Yes ! I've found him !
All around him
Blushing flowers bud and bloom ;
20 LOVE AMONG THE ROSES.
Merrily the birds are singing,
Drowsily the bees are clinging
(Drunken with perfume)
To the lilies and the roses
'Round the spot where Love reposes !
HP HE air is balm, for earth is all abloom :
The genial skies benignly bent above
As yet unsullied by a tinge of gloom,
Seem, as in earlier, better days, to love me.
The rugged hills wear emerald carcanets ;
The woodland-wilds are starred with
Where daisies blow, and virgin violets,
Within the leaves, half-hide their con-
The vagrant breeze, now winnowing my
Sways, to and fro, the tender meadow
Green in the shade, but growing golden
The sunbeam brightens when the zephyr
Nature, to-day, would woo to her embrace
The scanty mite of good that lingers in
And, by the witching beauty of her face,
From wonted gloom to grateful sunshine
I gaze and gladden, though oppressed by
Lest cares, now banished, should too soon
surround me ;
Put out the light my heart would garner
And weld again the chains wherewith
they bound me.
My plaintive harp, whose chords of sombre
Awake responsive to the touch of sad-
Attuned to dirge-like threnody alone,
And mute, alas ! to madrigals of gladnes?,
In vain essays, in soft idyllic strains,
To sing of laughing Spring a rhythmic
To tell how she has visited our plains,
And clad them in a garniture of glory :
How every spot of earth, her fairy feet
Have kissed, with lissome step, is greenly
Or how her smiles have thawed the wintry
And set the ice-bound fountains freely
I hear the brooks, that babble as they go, —
Prattling to flowers that blossom on their
Tell how she quelled her immemorial foe, —
Wiled from her realm his insolent ma-
But I may not translate, with tuneless
The vernal music all around me ringing ;
For birds sing now, as birds in Eden sung :
Enough for me, to listen to the singing !
" What time the stars first flocked into the blue
Behind young Hesper, Shepherd of the eve."
Thos. Buchanan Read.
'T^HE brilliant Evening Star to-night
Gleams through the dusky air ;
As though some seraph in his flight,
Through the unclouded realms of light,
Had paused an instant there ; —
Had paused and silently surveyed
The dreaming world below ;
Then flown away to Eden's shade
Where " living waters " flow.
Methinks some bright unearthly gem
Fell from his flashing diadem,
For when he winged his flight afar,
Through the enchanted air,
A light remained, — the Evening Star
Shone forth serenely there !
Tis thus the great — the good depart,
And leave a beacon light,
To cheer the pilgrim's drooping heart
And guide his feet aright :
Hence we revere the sage — the seer
Of every age and clime ;
Whose priceless gems still sparkle here
Upon the strand of time.
T^AREWELL forever to the dreams,
(Alluring dreams !) whose fitful light
Revealed a land where sorrow's night
Can never veil the golden beams
Of life, and hope, and love !
Farewell to Heaven ! Why linger now
In wild regret before the Cross ?
Tis powerless : Eternal Loss
Corrodes my heart, — seals on my brow
The blackness of despair.
What care I now how long the fire
Of life within my bosom burns,
Since Mercy now no more returns ;
But lets each lingering hope expire,
And veils her lovely face ?
Ah ! what to me is wealth or fame ?
A sunbeam shimmering on a pall ;
From some high pinnacle to fall ;
To leave on earth an envied name,
And then — to pass away.
Farewell ! farewell ! I may not stay
Where Hope's last "rare and radiant"
To ashes fell : — in that sad hour,
The golden sunlight fled away
And left Eternal Shade!
THE SHADOW OF THE ROCK.
" The shadow of a Great Rock in a weary land."
Isaiah xxxii. 2.
I OST in Sahara's trackless wilds, in vain
Wouldst thou shake off the darkness
of despair ;
Thou reelest blindly in the noontide glare,
Athirst and weary o'er the burning plain :
Long hast thou trod beneath thy bleeding
The glowing sands, a fearful death to die,
While sparkling fountains burst upon
And grouping palm-trees spread a shelter
from the heat :
Far, far away, beside a gloomy hearth,
Where feebly now the fading embers
Thy hoary sire, and she who gave thee birth,
30 THE SHADOW OF THE ROCK.
Heart-broken wait to welcome thy return :
God shield thee I hapless straggler from the
And hide thee now within the Shadow of
Born January 16th, 1863 ; died June 24th, 1865.
" God's ringer touched him, and he slept."
PHE things he used to play with
Lie in the corner there ;
And yonder hangs the worsted cap
That he was wont to wear ;
Beneath his dimpled chin I see
Its crimson tassels tied,
And clasp once more with fond caress
Our " little boy that died."
I hear the restless rosy feet
That patter on the stair,
And now he runs to Mamma's seat
To nestle fondly there :
He climbs upon my knee again,
Or, on my foot astride,
I toss the darling of my heart
Who clamors for a ride.
The labor of the day is done :
Home to a glowing hearth
I hasten, ere the set of sun,
The happiest man on earth ;
A mother, standing at the door,
Looks out, adown the street,
Elate with joy, as runs her boy —
His father first to greet.
Ah, then right merrily we romp !
And noisy is our glee,
For each, to please the household pet,
Must horse or driver be ;
He brings " his blocks,'' and begs Papa
" A church " for him to rear,
But knocks the fabric down before
The steeple can appear.
His marbles next, and then his ball,
Till, weary of our play,
He sups on mother's lap, and folds
His little hands to pray-:
And " Now I lay me down to sleep "
That immemorial prayer —
In faltering phrases soft and sweet,
Makes musical the air.
He sleeps : the fire is burning low,
And shadows on the wall,
Like those he wondered at and feared,
Grotesquely rise and fall :
Night — rayless night — overwhelms my
And yet, in my despair,
I sometimes almost smile to think
There is no shadow there !
Tis Summer-time again, and I
Sit mournfully for hours,
And watch the painted butterflies
That woo his favorite flowers ;
They hover unmolested here,
Yet, dreaming of the chase,
I see the hunter s flashing eyes, —
His flushed and eager face !
How oft I've seen the jocund boy
Return from garden play,
His Summer-hat of plaited straw
With larkspur blossoms gay !
The hand that decked it thus need not
Renew the garland now,
For seraphim and cherubim
Twine amaranth for his brow !
Strange silence broods o'er all the house
From dawn to close of day ;
The little drummer beats no more
Tattoo or Reveille ;
His feathered cap and plaided cloak,
And broken drum remain, —
But he who wore them once may ne'er
Come back to us asrain.
V &4 ,
It almost breaks my heart to see
The dog he daily fed,
Crouch at my feet and mutely ask
The living for the dead ;
I cannot harshly drive him out,
Though keener grief than mine
Bursts forth afresh each time she hears
His wistful — piteous whine.
" But wouldst thou call him back to
Have him again to wear
The crimson-tasseled worsted cap
Upon his golden hair?
Wouldst have thine angel lay aside
His diadem of light —
Change crown for cross, and blindly grope
Beside thee, through the night ? "
11 Ask me no more," l for flesh is weak :
Our idol was a part
Of every earth-born hope that blessed
Mine and his mother's heart !
" Ask me no more : " help us, O God,
This bitter loss to bear —
To kiss Thy chastening rod, and live
To find " our treasure," there !
1 "Ask me no more, lest I should bid him live :
Ask me no more."
WOOED, WON, FORSAKEN.
FROM "VIOLA," AN UNPUBLISHED POEM.
11 And where the Spring-time sun had longest shone,
The violet looked up and found itself alone."
Thos. Buchanan Read.
PHOU art languishing and pining,
Blue-eyed one !
Thou art drooping and declining,
And thou faintest for the shining
Of the sun ;
For the sunbeam came to sue thee, —
To worship thee and woo thee,
But to ruin and undo thee
Lovely Bloom !
He smiled but to deceive thee, —
To blight thee and bereave thee
Of perfume, —
Then heartlessly to leave thee
To thy doom !
38 WOOED, WON, FORSAKEN.
Thou hopest in thy sorrow,
He will come again to-morrow,
(His long delay forgiven)
To his bright abode in heaven,
Until his smile has driven
From thy heart
The weight which now oppresses,
And the grief which now distresses;
While he murmurs, as he blesses
Thee with ravishing caresses,
11 How beautiful thou art ! "
But alas ! thy hopes are failing,
And thy tears are unavailing,
For wintry winds are wailing
As they fly ;
Thou shalt sleep without awaking —
Thy heart no longer aching —
When morning beams are breaking
On the sky !
r I "HING of beauty! brightly beaming,
Softly through my lattice streaming,
To my spirit thou dost seem
Like " a sweet thought in a dream : "
Linger yet a little while ;
Still my loneliness beguile !
Brilliant sunbeam ! thou dost bring
On thy gleaming golden wing,
Life and gladness, light and love,
From the firmament above ;
Thou dost change the morning mist
Into sparkling amethyst !
Messenger from realms of li^ht !
Thou art beautiful and bright :
40 THE SUNBEAM.
How resplendent then is He,
Sunbeam, who created thee, —
Called thee from chaotic night, —
Bade thee sparkle in His sight?
Shining harbinger of Spring !
Earth, for thee, is blossoming ;
At the earliest " peep of dawn,"
In the woodland, on the lawn,
Songs of welcome may be heard, -
Matins of the mocking-bird.
Welcome ! bright, celestial ray !
Where thou dwellest it is day ;
When thou wanderest afar,
When I hail the evening star,
Then, sweet Sunbeam, I shall see
But a burning type of thee !
A WAKE ! Arise ! No longer be
A laggard in the race !
O thou who wouldst thy fellow free,
Burst first the chains which shackle thee ■
Insignia of disgrace !
Arise, and muster all thy might !
Stand foremost in the van !
He who unfurls the flag of Right
Must march a hero in the fight —
Must be himself # man !
To Arms ! Let sluggards idly stand ■
Let cravens skulk and cower !
Tis thine to wield a battle-brand,
Whose touch will nerve thy failing hand
With supra-mortal power!
In vain may stalwart foes assail
The champion of Right ;
For, panoplied in triple mail,
The true of heart can never fail —
Are never put to flight I
PIT AND PENDULUM.
r^HE poets say there is a golden chain
Binding our planet to the throne of
Whose burnished links unbroken yet
Though earth — no more by shining
seraphs trod —
Is swinging madly o'er a dread abyss :
Should some malignant spirit sunder this, —
Should this frail chord of sympathy be riven,
And our lost world, by gravitation driven,
Plunge through the outer dark, impenitent,
Who could in one wild syllable portray
The speechless horror of that direful day,
44 PIT AND PENDULUM.
When light first wings its everlasting flight,
And the lost plummet sounds the ghastly
gloom of night ?
A soul whose prayers, like incense from the
When flowers awaken with the dawn of
Arose in child-like earnestness to God, —
Whose covert was the shadow of His
Who bore the cross, — caught glimpses of
But growing weary, laid his burden down ;
Who clung in safety to a golden chain,
Endued with strength the feeblest to sustain,
While they in God an humble trust retain ;
But who, alas ! in an unguarded hour,
Insanely yielding to the tempter's power,
Bade hope for all futurity farewell,
And fell to fathom an apostate s hell, —
riT AND PENDULUM. 45
Who — who but he may, in one word, por-
The tongueless terror of that awful day,
When light first wings its everlasting flight,
And the lost plummet sounds the sullen
gloom of night ?
11 1 awoke the next morning with an aching head and feverish
frame. Ah, those midnight carousals, how glorious they would
be if there were no next morning ! " Pelham.
" An angel would be all the better for a good night's carouse in
honest Moritz's wine-cellar; even to the ruffling of some of , his
feathers. What a sorry appearance though would the dreadful
next morning bring ! " Kimball's St. Leger.
TLL up! fill up!
With Lethe to the brim;
I yearn — I pine — I faint — I thirst
To see the brilliant bubbles burst
Around its rosy rim :
Then let me drain
The bowl again,
And fill it up once more ;
For fearful phantoms haunt my brain,
And at the open door
A ghastly group of fiends appear —
Their hollow laughter racks my ear ;
See ! how malignantly they leer
Upon the wreck they Ve made :
They little care that honor, wealth,
And home, and happiness, and health
Are blighted and betrayed !
Fill up ! fill up !
The sparkling cup ;
It is with Lethe fraught !
It drowns reflection, palsies thought,
Binds Memory in chains,
And bids the hot blood leap and dart,
Like molten lava from my heart
To fire the sluggish veins ! *
Fill to the brim and I will drink,
" To Memory and Thought,
Eternal Death." — For O, to think
1 " These were days when my heart was volcanic." — Poe's
Is with such horror fraught —
That hell would be
A heaven to me
Were Memory no more !
Aye ! could I never think again, —
Never the past deplore, —
I should no longer here remain ;
For hell can have no penal pain,
In all its fiery domain,
So fearful unto me,
As the scorpion-sting
Of that terrible thing
Which we call Memory !
• • • • •
To dream of all that I am now, —
Of all I might have been ;
The crown of thorns upon my brow, —
The gnawing worm within ;
Of all the treasures I have lost,
Like leaves autumnal, tempest-tost, —
Of sunbeams into clouds withdrawn,
Their momentary sparkle gone, —
Of murdered hope, and blighted bloom —
God ! how horrible my doom !
Yet fill, fill up!
The crimson cup
With frenzy to the brim !
1 wildly burn — I madly thirst
To see the blushing bubbles burst
Around its ruby rim !
"DUM VIVIMUS, VIVAMUS."
" Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof."
St. Matt. vi. 34.
T7ARTH is not an El Dorado,
Nor is life a Summer-day;
Every sunbeam hath a shadow
Chasing it away, —
Frail ephemera that perish, —
Doomed to disappear ;
Those we love, caress, and cherish,
May not linger here :
Pain and pleasure, joy and sorrow,
Here, alternate, come and go :
Which of these we'll have to-morrow,
Who may ever know ?
Gather flowers — blushing flowers —
Which, at present, blow;
" BUM V1VIMUS, VIVAMUSr 5 I
Leave the buds, they are not ours, —
They for others grow.
If it now be pleasant weather,
Let us merry be ;
Let us laugh and sing together,
Nor repress our glee
By vain speculations whether,
In the future, we
Shall be gloomier or gladder ;
Be that as it may,
Such reflections overshadow
Beautiful " To-Day ! "
Fretting — murmuring — repining
Darkens every sorrow,
With unconscious fingers twining
Cypress for the morrow :
Then remember, Love — remember
In thy darkest day,
That the drearier December,
Brighter is the May !
52 "DUM VIVIMUS, VIVAMUS."
Earth is not an El Dorado,
Nor is life a Summer day ;
Every sunbeam hath a shadow
Chasing it away !
/^\FT when the sunlight's golden gleam
Has died upon our sorrow,
We sink in sleep, — perchance to dream
Of happiness to-morrow.
We fain would banish thoughts of ill,
Or smile at their intrusion ;
And oft deluded, fondly still
Cling to each sweet illusion.
Dawn brings no day, and Spring no bloom,
Earth seems a sad Sahara ;
Till Hope returning gilds the gloom
And leads to — wells of Marah !
Yet is it not far better thus
To yield to her beguiling ?
How dark were all the world to us
Did we distrust her smiling !
What though our castles, reared in air,
Begin so soon to crumble ?
Hope is a refuge from despair
When all their turrets tumble !
Then blest are dreamers to the last,
Who dream not they are dreaming ;
Their skies no cloud may overcast —
To them, all is that's seeming!
But woe to those who wake to weep
The visions they have cherished,
And may not find again in sleep
The phantoms which have perished !
One such I know, within whose heart
Hope has no more a dwelling, —
From whose dark dreams no whispers start
Of peace and joy foretelling!
PHESE are mild delicious days;
Gleaming through the golden haze,
Which around the landscape plays,
Every object now assumes
Mellow lights, or dreamy glooms :
Things once distant now are near ;
Fainter seem the sounds we hear ;
Feebler now is Zephyrs sigh,
And yet lower the reply
Of the rills that murmur by.
• • • • •
High upon his airy throne
(Girdled with a misty zone)
Rides the pallid sun at noon,
Seeming but a brighter moon ;
Lazily his tempered rays
Measure these enchanting days.
THE SABBATH OF THE SPRING.
" The flowers appear on the earth ; the time of the singing of
birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land."
The Song of Songs ii. 12.
A GLORIOUS change is come to pass:
An April sky is overhead ;
Like emerald glows the growing grass,
And flowers are rising from the dead :
Renewed — rejuvenated trees
Resume their leafy liveries,
And, bursting from their icy prison,
The golden buttercups are risen !
Aroused from their hibernal sleep,
The jacinth and the crocus leap
Into the lap of Spring, and bare
Their scented bosoms to the air :
With downcast eye and mien demure,
The pensive snow-drop, pale and pure,
THE SABBATH OF THE SPRING. 57
Seems listening to an ardent wooer;
Later from Winters realm to sally,
The loitering lily of the valley
Begins to bud ; and sweeter yet,
The darling, blue-eyed violet,
Who — cloistered in the twilight shade
Which her luxuriant leaves have made —
By her own breathing is betrayed.
Above me now the honeyed cells
Of purple Persian lilac bells
Pulse perfumes on the wandering breeze ;
And lured by these,
The golden bees
Are come, with hummings of the hive,
Till every cluster is alive —
Till all their bells together chime
With murmurs drowsier than my rhyme, —
More softly somnolent than those
That wooed from Hybla's beds of thyme
And clover-gardens in their prime
58 THE SABBATH OF THE SPRING.
The weary to repose.
At noon — as tipsy as the bees —
The languid zephyrs lie
Around these nectared chalices,
Unwitting how to fly ;
For O ! the luscious lilac flowers,
While giving sigh for sigh,
Breathe opiate balm that overpowers
The triflers till they die !
Blush-tinted petals of the new
Peach-blossoms lend a rosy hue
To fields that widen on the view,
To where — withdrawn into a mist
Of crimson haze and amethyst —
The sky puts off its living blue.
The winged choristers of air
Are making music everywhere ;
Ere dawn emerges from the dark
Are heard the matins of the lark ;
THE SABBATH OF THE SPRING. 59
The thrush sings in the hazel brake ;
The mocking-bird is wide awake ;
The blithe hedge-sparrow chirrups by ;
The swallows twitter in the sky ;
And faintly — far adown the glen —
Is cheeping now the russet wren, —
Birds, bees, and flowers,
Sunshine and showers,
To grace and gladden hill and plain,
Bring Sabbath to the world again !
HOPE OF HEAVEN.
" O where shall rest be found, —
Rest for the weary soul ? "
f~\ THERE is naught upon this earth of
The restless longings of the soul to fill :
We pant for fairer fields and fresher flowers,
For purer fountains still.
Our drooping souls, like captive eagles, pine
To breathe, once more, their native at-
To soar above the cloud, where sunbeams
And shadows disappear.
For what are all the rosy, dazzling dreams,
The glowing hopes and fleeting joys of
//( WE OF HE A VEN. 6 I
Its fading smiles, its evanescent gleams
Of happiness and mirth ?
Faint, glimmering moonbeams falling on a
Or lighting up the pathway to the tomb ;
Wild flowers that blossom on a ruined wall ;
Oases in the gloom !
These are the joys of earth; but tell me
Are its wild sorrows, its harassing fears ?
Where are the clouds — the shades of dark
That haunt " this vale of tears ? "
O, where shall rest be found ? — a stormy tide
Is rushing madly onward to the sea,
Immortal spirits down the current glide
62 HOPE OF HEAVEN.
Thrice happy he, to whom the change of
And tide may leave one solitary rock, —
An Ararat, eternal and sublime,
Unshaken by the shock ;
A Hope of Heaven, whose summit in the
(The only refuge of a ruined race)
Smiles through the storm — the swelling
And stands — a resting-place !
" Love is a lamp unseen
Burning to waste, or, if its light is found,
Nursed for an idle hour, then idly broken."
N. P. Willis : Parrhasius.
\T OT so ! Not so ! Love's lamp is not
It never burns to waste, is never quenched :
His is a vestal lamp, whose virgin flame
Illumes the dark with pure and steady glow ;
And should its feeblest scintillation fall,
It would not lie unheeded where it fell, —
It might not perish there, or otherwhere ;
For Love, coeval with the throne of God,
Is coexistent with Eternal Life !
Love moves on earth — a page in Beauty's
He follows her, — a rapt idolater, —
Gloats on her glances, feeds upon her
Lights, with his lamp, her pathway through
And keeps a lonely vigil while she sleeps ;
He only knows her worth, and spies in her
A thousand graces others may not see :
Beauty would live for him — He die for
They cannot breathe apart; they came
Heirs of immortal life ; and when at length
She vanishes from earth, he flies with her.
They seek together undiscovered lands ;
They float, like Summer-birds, on halcyon
To blend the myrtle with the orange-
To build, in brighter climes, their bridal
" The laughing Hours before her feet
Are scattering spring-time roses."
Paul H. Hayne.
\ 11TITH light upon her rosy lip
And laughter in her eye,
Whence came the maiden ? Did she slip,
With sunbeams, from the sky, —
Steal from the gate of Paradise,
When no one else was by ?
How merrily she seems to skip !
What mirthful songs arise,
As, bounding like an antelope,
Who (full of fear, as she of hope)
The baffled hunter flies,
She leaveth me, alone, to mope —
A melancholy misanthrope !
SONG OF THE BUTTERFLY.
" What more felicity can fall to creature
Than to enjoy delight with liberty."
Spenser : Fate of the Butterfly.
W/HO is merrier than I ? "
Quoth the golden Butterfly;
" In the shining court of May
Whose apparel half so gay ?
I reflect each sparkling hue
Of her radiant retinue ;
I have kissed the Lilys cheek ;
I have played at ' hide and seek,'
Veiled Violet, with you !
Who is merrier than I ? "
Quoth the golden Butterfly.
" I have flirted too, with thee,
Tremulous Anemone !
SOXG OF THE BUTTERFLY. 67
And the blue-eyed Pimpernel
Is superlatively blest,
Should I for a moment rest
Down in yonder grassy dell :
Little doth she dream that I
From her soft caresses fly,
But to breathe the rare perfume
Of the pale Magnolia bloom ;
Or to spend a listless hour
In the cool, secluded bower
Of the pining Passion-flower !
Blither wooer, who than I ? "
Quoth the gallant Butterfly.
11 When the shades of evening fall,
Like the foldings of a pall ;
When the dew is on the flowers.
And the mute, unconscious Hours
Still pursue their noiseless flight
Through the dreamy realms of night ;
68 SONG OF THE BUTTERFLY.
In the shut or open Rose
Ah, how sweetly I repose !
Zephyrs, languid with perfume,
Gently rock my cradle-bloom ;
Myriads of fire-flies
From the dewy leaves arise,
And Dianas starry train,
Sweetly scintillant again,
Never sleep while I repose
On the petals of the Rose !
Who hath sweeter couch than I ? "
Quoth the brilliant Butterfly.
11 Life is but a Summer day,
Gliding goldenly away ;
Winter comes, alas ! too soon —
Would it were forever June !
Yet, though brief my flight may be,
Fun and frolic still for me !
When the Summer leaves and flowers ■
SONG OF THE BUTTERFLY. 69
Having had their holiday —
In the chill, autumnal showers,
Droop and fade, and pine away,
Who would not prefer to die —
What were life to such as I? "
Quoth the flaunting Butterfly!
THE MOTHER'S PRAYER.
" But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the chil-
dren's bread and to cast it to dogs.
u And she said, Truth, Lord : yet the dogs eat of the crumbs
which fall from their master's table." — St. Matt. xv. 26, 27.
^RUTH, Lord: it is not meet
That Thou shouldst give me bread ;
Yet famished dogs where children eat,
May on their crumbs be fed.
" I may not let Thee go
While I have heart to pray ;
Nor wilt Thou hear me pleading so,
And cast me quite away.
" They say that Thou canst save,
And I for mercy call :
No crumbs to me Thy children gave,
But Thou art Lord of all.
THE MOTHER'S PRAYER. 7 I
u Vexed by my sore distress,
' Send her away ! ' they cry ;
Yet through the murmuring throng I press,
Low at Thy feet to lie !
11 Rebuke has chilled my heart ;
But Lord, how dare I brook,
If homeward, hopeless, I depart,
My frenzied daughter's look !
" A fire burns in her brain.
And fiends torment her soul ;
All other help I Ve sought in vain :
Lord, make my daughter whole ! "
Prone on the earth she lay,
Clutching the Master's gown,
And turned her tortured face away,
Fearing a darker frown !
Then all grew still as death ;
They who had gathered there,
72 THE MOTHER'S PRAYER.
Like her, await with bated breath
The answer to the prayer.
A face divinely sweet —
The human face divine —
Beams o er the suppliant at His feet
A radiance benign.
A voice — a tender voice,
Replete with tearful grace —
Bids the poor sufferer's heart rejoice
Ere she beholds His face I
In loving accents He
The woman's faith commends :
" Even as thou wilt, so let it be," —
The benediction ends.
Abashed His followers stood,
Then reverently made way
For her of alien speech and blood
They had despised that day.
THE MOTHER'S PRAYER. 73
And rugged hands were brushed
O'er eyes that seldom wept,
As home that joyful mother rushed —
Where, lo ! her daughter slept ! *
How should this story cheer
Sinner, no less than Saint,
To call on Him while He is near —
To pray and never faint.
To-day, as yesterday, the same,
He heeds the mourners cry ;
To seek — to save the lost He came —
Fly — to His bosom fly!
1 St. Mark vii. 30.
ODE TO SLEEP.
(~*0 ME, gentle Sleep! and hither bring
The beetle's drone, the buzzing of the
All slumb'rous sounds which Silence loves
to hear, —
Which steal like balm into the drowsy ear ;
Let Summer rain fall softly from the eaves,
While fragrant zephyrs whisper through the
To every care some sweet nepenthe bring —
Benumb each sense — bid sorrow cease to
From dreamless rest let him awake no more,
Who only lives existence to deplore ;
ODE TO SLEEP. 75
Haste ! Siren, haste ! low lullabies to sing,
Until I die beneath the shadow of thy wing !
Haste, soothing Sleep! bring with thee
For I would now no more behold the light,
Since dawn of day comes only to betray
Hope's brightest blossoms withering away, —
Unveils before unsympathizing eyes,
A heart whose woe no masking may dis-
Cimmerian gloom — Egyptian shadow, now,
Chase the accursed sunlight from my brow !
LIFE AND DEATH.
T IFE is the tossing here awhile
On a tumultuous sea ;
With now and then a sunlight smile,
Or glimpse of an enchanted isle,
Far in futurity.
Death is the closing of the day —
The lulling of the wind —
The twilight shades, in sad array,
Bearing the setting sun away,
And leaving night behind.
Life is the never-ending day,
Beyond the set of sun ;
The passing of each cloud away —
One blooming, bright, eternal May,
Where love and hope are one !
LIFE AND BE A TIL J J
Aye! Death, like Night, bids Morning rise
Beyond the misty sea, —
The sun to glow in brighter skies, —
The soul to dwell in Paradise
Through all Eternity!
" Ah ! Psyche, from the regions which
Are Holy Land ! "
Edgar Allan Poe.
O TAR of my soul ! I saw thee rise
In trembling beauty o'er a sea, —
A silent sea, — the past, that lies
Asleep in memory !
My spirit caught the hallowed beams
That fell on the enchanted air ;
Nor to Endymion, in his dreams, .
Were Dian's half so fair.
Around me hung a golden glow,
That flushed the amaranthine flowers,
Whose censers, swinging to and fro,
Perfumed the midnight hours :
For Hope, who long on wanton wing
Coquetted coyly with Desire,
Then deigned to robe the- meanest thing
In scintillant attire.
Cradled in my too happy heart,
Love whispered in my rosy dream,
That thou wouldst nevermore depart —
Wouldst never cease to beam.
At anchor off the flowery strand,
Hope's fragile bark — " The Venture " —
And, lured by her, I sought a land
Of Promise far away.
At first propitious breezes blew,
And swiftly from the starlit shore
Our yacht, a dancing feather, flew
The bounding billows o'er.
But now, beneath an angry sky,
O'er alien seas the wreck is driven ;
Nor dare I look again on high,
To miss my star from heaven !
Star of my soul ! My Morning Star !
Fair almoner of living light !
Thy brilliant beams are shed afar
On other hearts to-night!
Thou heraldest a Sabbath morn,
And shinest unto perfect day,
While I am tossed at sea — forlorn
Of thy benignant ray.
Arise and shine ! I pine for thee !
Flash through the rifted clouds afar !
Earth has no other light for me —
My sky, no other star !
STELLA. 8 1
Beam — brightly beam ! dispel my gloom !
Drive fear and shadow far away !
Bid hyacinthine hopes to bloom,
And Spring forever stay!
THE LIGHT OF THE LATTICE.
CHE little dreams that I to-night
Peer out, through the mist and the rain,
To catch one glimmering gleam of light
From a far-off window-pane ;
But the light that shines
Through the Jasmine vines,
Which around her casement creep,
Dispels, with its beams,
The sweetest of dreams,
And awakens me out of my sleep !
ST. VALENTINE'S DAY.
TJ IDDEN no longer
In moss-covered ledges,
Starring the wayside,
Under the hedges,
Flashing with dew,
Daisy and Asphodel
Down in the bosky dells
Faintly their fairy bells
Chime in the air.
Thanks to the sunshine !
Thanks to the showers !
They come again — come again
Beautiful flowers !
84 ST. VALENTINE'S DAY.
Twittering sparrows flit
Merrily by ;
Warble on high :
Echo, who slumbers
So long in the glen,
Awakens to mimic
The song of the wren :
For, thanks to the sunbeams !
Thanks to the showers !
They bud again — bloom again ■
Beautiful flowers !
The mocking-bird, too —
The sweetest of mimes —
Is prodigal now
Of his jubilant rhymes !
And my heart is so light,
So cheery to-day,
I fancy I hear,
In his rapturous lay,
ST. VALENTINE'S DAY. 85
The music I heard
In those halcyon hours,
When Love to my heart
(Like Spring to her bowers)
First came to awaken
Hope's beautiful flowers !
T T OW splendidly those yet unpurpled
Flush as they float into intenser floods
Of sunset-glow ! Pure fleece becomes pure
Gold that, anon, porphyrogene appears :
Tint into tint, or flashes now, or fades,
Turkois and topaz softly interfuse,
And garnet, kindling, into ruby burns ;
Until yon Titan-group of thunder-crags,
That gather gloom to intercept the light, —
Colossal shapes, thrown into bold relief
By the refulgence of the Occident, —
As though convulsed by fierce intestine
Dissolve their solemn league : each beetling
A lurid lustre wears; each shaggy breast
Is seared and seamed with sanguinary scars ;
And from a chasm, cleft in their bloody
That yawns into the semblance of a hell,
In long, red, forked, wildly flickering tongues,
Flames, as from Tophet, leap !
A S when, with eager straining eyes,
We gaze on gloomy twilight skies
Until we falsely dream that we,
For one brief instant, dimly see
The smile of some capricious star
Flash through the murky clouds afar ;
So my bewildered heart to-night
Gropes blindly, seeking hidden light :
Its mournful introverted eye,
Now fixed upon a darker sky,
Would fain explore the mirksome maze,
Dispel the twilight's misty haze,
And call to its enraptured gaze,
From out their petulant eclipse,
The smiles that shone on Laura s lips.
MY HOPES LIKE WAXING WATCH-FIRES
TV /T Y hopes like waning watch-fires glow,
Whose lurid flames, though burning
Still flicker wildly to and fro :
They brightly gleam, again retire ;
Revive and sparkle to expire,
Yet, loth forever to depart,
Back to the ghastly embers start,
And die to leave eternal shade
Where erst their fitful flashes played.
My hopes are like the hopes that fail
The seaman shipwrecked in the gale, —
Unheeded by the passing sail:
90 MY HOPES LIKE WANING WA TCH-FIRES GLOW-
As fades the sunlight from the clouds,
The smiles that hailed her snowy shrouds
Die on our lips : His drifting spar,
By raging billows borne afar,
Perchance may safely reach the shore ;
But mine — is tossed forevermore !
My hopes are songs a siren sung,
And flowers her fairy fingers flung
Upon a rock, to which they clung :
They bloomed awhile in beauty there,
Then perished in its Alpine air ;
And now that rock is bare and bleak ;
The lichen shuns its haggard peak ;
And he who haunts the lonely shore,
Will hear the siren sing no more !
A S pearls from wave-worn caverns
Retain the rainbow-Jiues they caught,
When, riven from the envious shell,
They into sudden sunlight fell,
Receive right royally a sheen
Their dark abodes had never seen,
And wear it as a diadem
Long wrongfully withheld from them ;
So she — unconscious of the grace
That more than beautifies her face —
Reflects the glory looked upon,
Till light, from introspection won,
Irradiates — refines the sphere
Of tender ties that keep her here !
Not of this world, though in it, she
Seems but a visitor to be ;
A messenger from realms above,
Sent 911 an embassy of love,
Whose sympathies, entwined with ours,
Would draw us to her native bowers !
Waiting her mission to fulfill,
Submissive to the Master's will,
She walks the earth a type of good
And tells a rosary, whose beads
Are loving thoughts and kindly deeds !
Esteeming other gain but loss
Beside the crown beyond the Cross,
Each day in blessing others spent
Finds her, at eve, a penitent ;
Yet priest hath shrived nor saint, nor
With less of worldliness within her,
And all who know her fain would guess
What one so sinless could confess :
It may be, that by being lowly
Her soul, in self-abstraction, wholly
Forgives, forgets, until the morrow,
All neighborhood of sin and sorrow ;
Evokes from purer contemplations
Sublimer faith, serener patience,
To tread the thorny path of trial, —
To lose itself, in alien losses,
And stoop, nor deem it self-denial,
To lift and bear another's crosses !
Her prayers to every living thing
Celestial benison would bring ;
The gentle glances of her eyes
Tell of communion with the skies ;
And all along the narrow way,
That broadens into perfect day,
Her lips are almoners, whose smile
Wins through its innocence of wile;
For in her soul, benignly blent,
Above the shrine of pure intent,
The oriental beams of truth
Illumine still the dew of youth,
Divinely sent at dawn to dower
With priceless pearls so sweet a flower !
O ! were there many such as she,
Elate, aglow with love divine,
On our benighted ways to shine,
How beautiful this life would be !
1 Faith, Hope, and Charity like hers
Should fill the world with worshippers !
With faces where all graces blend,
With spirits luminous to lend
The glory of supernal spheres
To gladden this sad " vale of tears,"
And make the sin-accursed clod
A glorious footstool for its God !
Then, were the fields bereft of ftowers,
Through dearth of sunshine or of showers,
The winter-blight, the summer-scath,
Alike would vanish from their path ;
Birds, songless erst, again would sing
Wherever they were wandering,
And, bourgeoning to burst its gloom,
The arid waste would soon resume,
As in the genial warmth of Spring,
The blushes of its vernal bloom :
Their smiles, their tears might well
To make the wild — a Paradise !
T) RIGHT hopes blossom day by day-
Blossom but to leave us ;
Those that linger longest stay
That they may
Still more heartlessly deceive us :
Yet in sorrows darkest hour
They have power
Light and rapture to impart ;
As the sunbeam to the shower,
Hope! thou art!
When thou shinest, rainbows start
From the gloomy clouds which lower
Over my desponding heart !
Hope! those ruby lips of thine
Mingle April shade and shine
In their smiling:
Why relievest thou my pain,
But to fly away again, —
Leaving me alone to mope,
A repining misanthrope ?
Teasing — tantalizing Fay !
Stay — stay !
Hasten not so soon away!
Thou art here anon, and then
Pipest in some lonely glen ;
Noiu thou hauntest dark morasses,
Swathed in dank and dewy grasses,
Far from the abodes of men :
There thy fairy lamp is lighted —
Thither its illusive ray
Leads the credulous, benighted,
Way-worn wanderer astray ;
And when he has lost his way
(Sink or swim)
In the dark, thou leavest him !
Incarnation of the Graces !
Let me hear once more the sweet
Falling of thy faery feet !
Come and scatter bright oases
In this gloomiest of places !
Hither, from thy far retreat,
Haste to cheat me ! Thy deceit
I have never chidden yet ;
'Tis the cruel undeceiving
I regret !
There can never — never be
In my heart a shade of grieving,
Save when thou
Art, as now,
On the eve of leaving me !
Witching Fairy ! Airy Sprite !
Must I bid thee, now, " Good night ? "
And shall my sad heart in vain
Pine for thee to call again ?
Promise, that at dawn of day
I shall see thy plumage gay !
Then sweet " Phantom of Delight,"
Thou mayst wing thy wanton flight,
Bidding me " Good Night ! Good
If that night — Good night can be
When I bid adieu to thee !
I HAVE naught to hope or dread ;
All save sentience is dead ;
Peace, with Innocence, has fled.
To the gloom in which I dwell,
This world's darkest dungeon-cell
Were as heaven unto hell.
Ye, who yet may hope or fear,
Shun this sad sepulchral sphere !
Rather die than enter here !
Each unto himself is fate, —
Carver of his own estate, —
Be it blest or desolate ;
Hence, how soothing is the thought —
With what sweet nepenthe fraught —
I have all this ruin wrought ;
/ with Sorrow chose to sup, —
Madly drained her bitter cup, —
Having had — the filling up !
Fairest flowers soonest die ;
Summer-friends are first to fly;
Memory alone is nigh !
Of the many, only she
Yet remaineth true to me :
Like the echo of the sea,
In the shell upon the shore,
She abideth, evermore
Murmuring of heretofore,
In my heart — a stranded shell,
Dashed, by passion's stormy swell,
On the burning beach of hell !
I have naught to hope or dread ;
All save sentience is dead ;
Peace, with Innocence, has fled !
TO L. F. P.
/^\ WHEN the dark, tumultuous tide
Of life is ebbing fast, —
When every earthly hope has died,
Thy memory shall still abide,
An Eden in the waste —
" A diamond in the desert," where
A silver fountain sings,
And birds of summer fill the air
With merry carolings ;
A land of beauty and of bloom
Whence zephyrs, freighted with perfume,
On wings of woven light, convey
Somewhat of Paradise away !
When all is drear and desolate, —
When o'er the waters dark
104 TO L. F. P.
(Like thistle-down before the blast,
Or dead leaves on a torrent cast),
My soul — a helmless ark —
Is wildly, madly driven on
Before the dread Euroclydon
Of unrelenting fate, —
Then brighter than the sparkling bow,
Whose sky-born splendors sat,
Like gems, upon the regal brow
Of rugged Ararat, —
Over the dusky waves afar,
Love's scintillant unchanging star,
From the fair portals of the past
A .flood of golden light shall cast,
To gild the gloomy twilight air,
And show engraven everywhere
Thy Name — the first — the last !
PLEA OF THE PRODIGAL.
" I have sinned against Heaven, and in thy sight, and am no
more worthy to be called thy son." St. Luke xv. 21.
T^ATHER! from a far-off region,
Famished I come home to die ;
Devils — and " their name was Legion" —
Failed to put this purpose by !
I, on husks, no more could hunger,
Yet I had not left the swine,
And had died a houseless alien
But for love of thee and thine ;
Love that smouldered while I squandered
All my substance in excess ;
Love that stung me while I wandered,
With unlanguaged bitterness ;
I06 PLEA OF THE PRODIGAL.
Love that lived, suppressed and hidden,
Through the frenzy of despair ;
Love that burst forth all unbidden,
Voicing bitter midnight prayer ;
That once more I might behold thee :
Father ! — if thou yet be mine —
Let thine arms again enfold me —
Call once more the wanderer " Thine!"
11 Tell him you saw Caius Marius sitting, an exile, amidst the
ruins of Carthage." History of Rome.
A "117 HEN earthly hopes have flown
When skies are dark and drear,
Why should the weary spirit stay
Repining here ?
Why, like yon Roman, linger where
The wreck of pomp and power, —
The crumbling column, reared in air,
The fallen fane, the time-worn
Tell of a brighter hour ?
The laurel from his haughty brow
Has fallen long ago ;
Why seeks the hapless exile now
Memorials of woe ?
108 BANISHED ROME.
Is there a luxury in grief, —
And do the wretched find relief,
In feeling that their lost estate
Is shared, however desolate ?
It must be so ! A type thou art,
O Carthage, in decay!
Of many a noble Roman heart
Whose hopes are swept away !
Low in the dust of desolation laid,
Well may the fallen seek thy friendly
The exile find a sister now in thee,
Who art no longer Empress of the Sea !
" A violet by a mossy stone,
Half-hidden from the eye."
T N unfrequented places,
Where sunbeams cannot peep, —
Where Echo's faintest echo
Is lying fast asleep, —
These timid woodland graces
From dewy leaves arise,
Unveil their modest faces,
Uplift their beaming eyes,
Less fearful in seclusion,
Of impudent intrusion,
Or surprise :
Yet each of these recluses,
While budding into bloom,
Sweet perfume ;
For ere they seem aware,
The censers which they bear
Reveal unto the air
Where they dwell ;
And the breezes, as they blow
To and fro,
In sweetest odor tell
Of dingle and of dell,
As yet unshone upon
By the sun :
They guide, on eager feet,
To the shadowy retreat
Of the JVun,
All who love to stand
Awhile on holy land ;
Who feel assured again —
So long as these remain —
That Innocence, on earth,
Yet lingers, loth to fly ;
VIOLETS. I I I
Vaunts not her heavenly birth
To heedless passers by,
Nor wholly hides her worth
From Love's observant eye ;
But waits to drop in death,
When, with the parting breath,
A radiant seraph flies !
• • • • •
Alas ! too often we
Externals only see ;
Look with disdainful eyes
On those in lowly guise ;
Nor know until they disappear
That guardian angels hovered near!
"O ING-WORMS of fire in chimney-
From single scintillations shoot ;
Each separate sparkle ere it dwindles
A wider conflagration kindles, — ■
Ignites incendiary tinder,
Then dies into a sable cinder:
Afloat, in fiery revolution,
The riddle still defies solution ;
For all are always changing places,
And one, it seems, another chases,
Itself pursued — until pursuing
Ends in reciprocal undoing.
A winged, wanton, wizard rout,
On glowing feet they glide about,
Again, and yet again renewing
Their mazy waltzes in and out,
FIRESIDE FANCIES. I I 3
Reluming now their earlier ashes
With fitful, evanescent flashes ;
Until, though wintry is the night,
My Fancy takes a summer flight,
And sees from out the dusk arise
A twinkling swarm of fire-flies !
Ah ! fleeting, fluctuating fires !
He who your brilliancy admires
Is saddened by the thought that springs
From tracing your meanderings !
As embers ye have left resume
The mantle of primeval gloom!
Ye type the visionary beams
That tinted youth's elysian dreams,
Or, blent in grand auroras, lent
Rose-color to its firmament ;
For all unconscious that I dreamed,
And realizing all that seemed,
I wandered then through realms of flowers,
Or gazed in mute delight for hours,
114 FIRESIDE FANCIES,
While life (a new kaleidoscope
Revolving in the hands of Hope)
Entranced me — at each turn unfolding
New beauties to a new beholding !
/^ N those dismal Polar plains,
Where relentless Winter reigns, -
Where, amid eternal snow,
Dwell the squalid Esquimaux, —
When morning awakes
And laughingly shakes
The light from her luminous hair,
How bright are the beams
Which scatter the dreams
Of the shivering slumberers there !
When the sleepers arise,
How sweet the surprise
Of radiant skies,
Whence Aurora exiles
With her scintillant smiles,
1 1 6 ANTIPODES.
The gloom of an Arctic night!
Yet O ! there are times,
In sunnier climes,
When shadow is sweeter than light, ■
When weary of day,
And sick of its shine,
We languish and pine
For its passing away !
TO A POEM RECITED BEFORE THE " LADIES' MEMORIAL
ASSOCIATION" OF RALEIGH, N. C, AUGUST, 1867.
T F aught that I have ever said or sung
May cause one more memorial flower to
Where plaintive harps, on Southern willows
Wail, Memnon-like, amid perpetual
Where, bowed with bleeding heart and eye
The South, a nobler Niobe, appears,
Murmurs, with quivering lips, " Thy will be
done ! "
And seeks relief from agony, in tears ;
I I 8 PROEMIAL STANZAS.
If when her trembling hands, unclasped
Begin the light of votive flowers to shed,
Exhaling sweets — illumining the air
Above the graves of her Confederate
She chance to touch and haply intertwine,
Mid flowers of balmier breath and happier
A daisy or forget-me-not of mine,
That erst, unnoticed, by the wayside grew;
This — this would be far dearer than the
Of praise awarded to the festive strain,
Blown from a pipe of Carolina reed,
Which, at your bidding, I awake again !
A SERIO-COMIC POEM.
DELIVERED BEFORE THE PITTSBORO SCIENTIFIC ACAD-
T N the moonshiny matter of " wooing the
A poet may do pretty much as he chooses ;
He may woo one or two, or, if he design
To make * a ten-strike,' in the rhythmical
He may ogle and flatter the whole of " the
Still, I must confess I have never had any
Reason to think /could manage that many ;
For, though I have often addressed them in
They always have jilted me, one at a time !
122 A SERIO-COMIC POEM.
A short time ago, when I undertook
To give to my Muse a serious look, —
Besought her, with all that I knew of per-
To behave herself well on the present occa-
And bade her assume the sober demeanor, ,
Befitting this presence, — I wish you had
In the mouse-colored robe of a feminine
And wearing the bonnet best known as " a
Shaker " —
With a pout on her lip, an arch gleam in
As irresolute whether to laugh or to cry,
She endeavored to mimic the drawl of her
To talk like a book, and to prose like — a
I tell you 'twas no easy task to persuade her
A SERIO-COMIC POEM. I 2 3
To wear, at rehearsal, the dress I had made
And it soon became very apparent to me,
Euterpe and I would never agree.
She pertly suggested that best-behaved folks
Paid smallest regard to conventional yokes ;
That a girl might be playful, without being
"I am weary," she added, " of playing the
A Muse should amuse ; will I be amusing,
If I take the monotonous tone you're choos-
And twist into rhyme a prosaic oration ? —
Is this your idea of Euterpe's vocation ?
Well, sir ! cuddle your whim and cudgel
While a glimmer of sense in your noddle
Sit up late every night, and be stirring be-
124 A SERIO-COMIC POEM,
Have 'Walker' at hand, for 'allowable
rhymes : '
May your ear be displeased with the count
of your fingers,
While the ghost of a tune in your memory
May the best line you write find only a fellow
Too seedy to purchase Pope's patent pru-
May others accord with the general jingle,
Like water with oil, — refusing to mingle, —
And, ' married, not mated,' despite all your
Deny they had ever intended to double !
I have told you before, and I tell you again,
If / sing, it shall be in a different strain,
I shall reel, if I choose, in the dizziest
And give a loose rein to my frolicsome
A SERIO-COMIC POEM. I 25
Then, you, at the close,
May whine through your nose,
A few of your humdrum, heavy-weight
As foils for my exquisite extravaganzas ! "
• • • • •
" Why should I appear in this primitive
Take my hair out of curl, and primly repress
The humor within that impels me to sing —
As a mocking-bird does — for the fun of the
You know very well, that you never, sir,
Have written a line that was passably clever,
When — deeming yourself another Apollo —
You refused absolutely my bidding to
Matters grew worse and worse ;
/ was firm — She perverse ;
126 A SERIO-COMIC POEM.
At length the young lady declined to re-
And crying aloud, as if fit to break her
Heart, she declared the Furies might take
The Graces disown, and her sisters forsake
But Jupiter Tonans y himself, couldn't make
Put on any more that horrible " Shaker ! "
A day or two later, Euterpe repented, —
At least, I may say that she half-way re-
For when I had wasted much of my time
In drearily scratching my head for a rhyme,
That lady, impelled by remorse or com-
Bounded in, all ablaze in the tip of the
I would not again awaken her ire
A SERIO-COMIC POEM. I 27
By describing minutely her brilliant at-
Nor could, if I would, however expert ;
For the fan in the hand of the exquisite
The pendulous swing of her balancing
The grace of her walk,
And the way she did talk,
And her musical laugh, all taken together,
Bewildered me so, that I couldn't tell
Of sunshine or moonshine her raiment was
Suffice it to say — though she dazzled my
I am fully convinced the colors were right ;
For, whoever blended the light and the
Euterpe's too fast, for them ever to fade!
128 A SERIO-COMIC POEM.
If I rightly remember, her head had upon it
That next thing to no thing — " a love of a
It was sent, she assured me, directly from
Per Cable Atlantic, by one Mrs. Harris,
Who flirted and fluttered in Vanity Fair,
Or flaunted her feathers in Madison Square,
A few years ago,
With a lady you know,
Who claimed all the pity the city could
Because she (poor woman!) had "nothing
to wear ! "
But this, by the way: I was just on the eve
Of grieving, as only a poet can grieve,
If the muse of his heart be taking her leave,
When I suddenly spied what made the im-
That led me so far in the path of digression :
My verdancy may be refreshingly vernal ;
A SERIO-COMIC POEM. I 29
But again I digress, to observe it resembled,
'Mid the gauze and the gewgaws that over it
In shape and in size, an outside internal
Revenue stamp, tied down to her head
By the filmiest sort of a gossamer thread !
With dolorous sigh,
Almost ready to cry
At having to bid the dear creature good-
I was turning away to conceal my emotion,
Lest her head should be turned,
And I should be spurned,
For displaying an extra amount of devotion,
When, delaying a moment her final de-
With the accurate aim of a Parthian archer,
She flung at my head the original verses,
Which now at her bidding, your poet re-
I 30 A SERIO-COMIC POEM.
" Look at me, my friend, and directly de-
The manifold charms of the toilet I wear:
Retract your assertions, your errors confess,
And own that Euterpe, in matters of dress,
Displays a degree of decided good taste,
As superior to yours as a diamond to paste !
Learn, sir, that this mass of illusion and
My bonnet, — this truth, if no other, dis-
That only a woman may fitly combine
Intellectual endowments exalted as mine
With matters domestic and every-day duties,
Extracting from each its appropriate beau-
Can fashion, with consummate talent and
An exquisite union of fancy and fact,
Contriving with womanly wisdom to find
The perfect proportion of matter and mind !
A SERIO-COMIC POEM. I 3 I
"Imprimis, this evident moral I draw
From my ' love of a bonnet ' — your
1 Shaker ' of straw:
Though lorcj of the law, and king of creation,
Man's mind is a bedlam of hallucination
Where woman's concerned; so that sensi-
Endowed with a learning no logic can teach
Strikes straight to the root of a subject, and
The knot, which her freedom of action is
Too tough for her delicate hands to undo it,
With the blade of her wit cuts a passage
clear through it.
Her lord — he may swell,
And attempt to dispel
The feminine fancies no reason may quell,
But never can he, with his uttermost skill,
Stop woman from following the way of her
132 A SERIO-COMIC POEM.
Philosophy, then, and self-interest teach,
Attempt not to gain what is out of your
Tell your Pittsboro' friends, as they value
To be dainty in dealing with delicate Sizes —
And remember to let them do just as they
Never argue with woman, — wife, sweet-
heart, or sister, —
But humor her fancies, and gently enlist her
Sympathies first ; for the sensible part
Of a man is his head ; of a woman — her
Boast then of the victories won from your-
Be only too glad when the obstinate elves
Their wills to your wishes can quietly yield ;
And remember that they, like the beasts of
Know not their own strength ; for were they
A SERIO-COMIC POEM. I 33
What power they possess — they would soon
be supreme ;
Men — monarchs, at once, from their thrones
would be hurled,
And the bandbox — the bandbox would £Ov-
ern the world !
" Would you learn by what magic my sex is
Bend your ear, my dear Poet, and let me
The wonderful secret ; but lest you abuse it,
First solemnly promise me never to use it,
Unless it be needed for self-preservation
Or to save from a shrew some worthy re-
Hold your breath, while the mystical words
I impart, —
1 To conquer a woman, creep into her heart /'
Once snugly ensconced in that delicate thing,
She will hail you triumphant, an absolute
134 A SERIO-COMIC POEM,
And deem life itself an oblation scarce meet
To be laid by her love at your idolized feet!
" Yet do not suppose it in every man's power
To gain for himself so peerless a dower
Of perfect devotion : there may be a few
Of the sex, who, as blind as Titania, do
As ridiculous things — love a snob, or a
And fill with musk-roses the ears of — a
Yet trust me, that he, who a hero would
In the heart of a woman, must wholly com-
Her reverence due — not won by deceit:
All other foundation is treacherous sand;
But tempests may blow and billows may
On immutable honor's immovable rock,
And the nests of true lovers feel never a
A SEKIO-COMIC POEM. I 35
"What grandeur — what glory we women-
In our ideal Beau — beau-ideal of Man !
Not the hybrid that fashion and folly have
Compounded of idleness, ignorance, pride,
In the strength of a pitiful weakness arrayed,
And to falsehood and cowardice fitly al-
Not the creature of essences, ogles, and airs,
All eye-glass and impudence, simpers and
That minces along with the stealth of a cat,
Its whole soul absorbed in its flashy cravat,
Preferring creation in chaos should crash
To losing one sprout from its scanty mous-
Viewing woman, ' as wathaw a n<?ice little
But really pon honor the bother they
When a felW/ ^ets tired, as a kUa/i must do,
I36 A SERIO-COMIC POEM.
She 's a regular bore, and a hor-ze/ible
shee/ew ! '
Not the tyrant, who tramples the modest and
Nor the skeptic, who sneers at whatever is
Not the drunkard, who drowns in the poison-
The spark of divinity lighting his soul ;
Not the coward, who shirks either danger or
Nor the gambler, who sees in all nature no
Compared with the charms, which enrap-
tured he traces
In a winning arrangement of bowers and
But Man, as he came from the fingers of
When creation crouched calm at his con-
quering nod ;
A SERIO-COMIC POEM. I 37
With a soul, like a star, that triumphantly
And a mind that so uses its talents and
That the world is made brighter, and purer,
Ever onward and upward life's pathway to
tread ! —
Man — with heart as unsullied in age as in
And a brow that is stamped with the signet
of truth ;
With a name like a sword without tarnish
And a faith that inspires such absolute trust
That woman — true woman — surrenders
And resigning her will to his kingly control,
Exults in his tenderly bountiful sway,
And deems it both duty and bliss to obey !
I38 A SERIO-COMIC POEM.
" I have proved my position : my verses are
Should your friends by my plainness of
speech be offended,
Just tell them for me, that you only quote it,
And refer them forthwith to the woman who
To you, sir, I've tendered the amplest
And I trust we shall always be excellent
Take my lute in your fingers ; touch boldly
And then, in your own graver melody, sing
The charms intellectual, celestial, and human
That make up the meed of perfection in
I can't give my hat in exchange for your
But do my sex justice, and here is my
A SERIO-COMIC POEM. I 39
Young Ladies: as worthy of all imitation,
To you I present an ideal creation;
A woman I dreamed of, and found it would
One Poet, three Graces, nine Muses to
I have blended each charm that I fancied
In my bachelor-days, to Fanny and Julia;
I stole, in my vision, from Sally and Kate
Every tenderly beautiful feminine trait,
And, " taking a smile," and a blush that* were
Made plainer the faces of Rose and of
Combining all these, at length I have made a
Dear little woman ! — a model young lady
Take her home to your hearts, — then
She will live in your lives, no longer ideal ! *
1 The rest of this poem appears on page 91, under another title.
r^EAR Edwards: If parts of this letter
Rough of style, and uncouth to your critical
I guilty must plead, and can only appeal
To the fact, in excuse, that I'm reading
Young Bulwer's fine poem, — and lo ! there
Of most of its faults and none of its graces ;
To-day, in whatever my muse is inditing, —
In the letter of love I may hap to be writing
To Chloe or Chloris, to Phoebe or Phillis —
Undreamed of, of course, by my fair
In the glee or the dirge ; in the ode or the
As becoming to each as an old-fashioned
To Eve would have been on the eve of " the
" The trail of the serpent is over them all ! "
The style of " Lucile " is a whimsical style ;
But its oddness soon ceases to summon a
And often provokes impatient perusers
To throw it aside, and thus become losers
Of beautiful thoughts almost lost in express-
Like — canvas-back ducks overdone in the
Or, like radiant flowers that shrink in the
Their luxuriant leaves around them have
The light of whose beauty he never per-
Who's too laggard or listless to turn over
the leaves :
Words often, like leaves, either dwarf or
The blossoms of thought they were meant
If you never have read this poem, I'm sure
A copy, at once, you will seek to procure ;
And I'm equally confident, ere you are done,
You will think there is something " new
under the sun ; "
You will praise the new thoughts, confound-
ing the verse,
Which, in parody now, Fm afraid to rehearse,
Lest a Babel of tongues break forth into
Confounding my thought, as well as my
In the midst of a line, "Owen Meredith"
Pegasus, 1 as though he beheld Thana-
topsis ; 2
Anon, he goes on with the rush of a river,
In a hurry its tribute of waves to deliver
To the ocean that fumes, and chides its
As a creditor frets at mere promise to pay ;
Ere you read half a page, you pause, half in
As to whether you know what you're read-
ing about ;
You ponder perplexed — go again and again
O'er the " Pons Asifiorum " that bothers
And, the riddle resolved, don't always find
1 Pegasus : The false quantity here mars the verse, but makes
2 Thanatopsis : Not Bryant's, but a vision in which Death
appears as "King of Terrors."
Ideas perdu, that repay you for working
So hard to get at them : " Then fling it
I fancy you say. Can't do it: I've tried;
And, however vexatious the vexation I feel,
Must read on and learn more of the peerless
TO A LADY,
ON RECEIVING FLOWERS.
In a Match game between "The Crescent Base Ball Club"
(Seniors), and "The Star Club" (Juveniles), the latter were vic-
torious. Next morning, one of the waning "Crescents " received
a beautiful bouquet, with the motto : —
" 'Tis not in mortals to command success,
But we'll do more, Sempronius : we'll deserve it."
" Sempronius," acknowledging this floral compliment, says to the
fair donor : —
PHE buds and blossoms thou hast blent
To form this beautiful bouquet,
Another hand than thine had sent
To grace a victor's gala day,
And die on his triumphal way :
But thou, amid the wild huzzas
That mock our " Crescent," on the wane,
Alone descendest from " the Stars,"
To soothe the vanquished in their pain,
And bid the fallen rise again !
I46 TO A LADY, ON RECEIVING FLOWERS.
Where, save in odor and in bloom,
Could sympathy so pure — so sweet —
Could half thy wish to banish gloom
From hearts disheartened by defeat,
Such eloquent expression meet ?
Above all " Stars " that gem the skies,
In these sad ihterlunar hours —
Beyond all else thy gift we prize —
Dreaming of Eden's blushing bowers,
And " Love " — half-hidden in the
CLOUDS WITH SILVER LININGS.
M I did not err : there does a sable cloud
Turn forth her silver lining on the Night."
/^LOUDS have silver linings: "
Thus the poet sings
To stifle vain repinings
And silence murmurings ;
But in the cloud above me
No " silver " do I see ;
Now Poet, " an' you love me,"
Prithee ! show it unto me !
The words that you have spoken
Perchance are very true,
Yet, until the cloud be broken
And the sunlight peepeth through,
This thought of " silver linings, "
But awakens fresh repinings ;
I48 CLOUDS WITH SILVER LININGS,
For you must surely see, sir,
Though truthful you may be, sir,
That the dark side is for me, sir,
While the bright side is for you !
Even were the lining golden, —
If it may not be beholden, —
Pray tell me, Mr. Poet,
Is it comforting to know it,
Unless you mean to show it ?
Your well-meant information
Gives me no consolation ;
For the sky is none the brighter
Nor the cloud a shade the lighter
From knowing that behind it —
If I can ever find it —
There may be
A sun that shines forever,
But which I, alas ! may never
Chance to see !
CLOUDS WITH SILVER LININGS. 1 49
So dark the cloud that hovers
In my sky to night,
I cannot think it covers
A single gleam of light :
Now, prove your aphorism, —
If such, indeed, it be, —
Dispel my skepticism,
Or prate no more to me !
To drive away each shade of doubt,
Pray, hunt the dark cloud inside oitt !
QUI CAPIT, FACIT.
AR back, in grand old mediaeval times, —
Reverted to in these heroic rhymes, —
King, knight, esquire, or page of low
Imbued from youth with kindliest courtesy,
Paid woman homage, — sped to her defense
From real wrong, or fancied insolence :
And not alone to succor in distress
Some titled heiress were they swift to press :
The high-born matron, or the village-girl —
Dame of a lord, or daughter of a churl,
Alike secured protection or redress ;
In troublous times, found trusty champions
Nor called in vain for the avenging spear
Of Knightly Paladin, or courtly Cavalier!
QUI CAPIT, FACIT. I 5 I
It was the bounden duty of all PAGES,
Who lived in those benighted Middle Ages
(Duty, in which some doubtless so delighted
They felt no Hotspur hurry to be knighted),
To wait on ladies — showing such attention,
'Twere tedious in minute detail to mention :
To find the gloves or kerchiefs they might
To hold their fans; remove their rubber-
To play the lute; to fetch the smelling
Whene'er " My Lady," fainted in the waltz ;
To carry missalS for the saintly fair,
As nowadays young gentlemen would bear
To church and back, a tome of Common
Psalter, or Hymn-Book, grateful for the
That makes the trouble fully worth the
To such as fancy they are " striking He ! "
I52 QUI CAPIT, FACIT.
A critic snarls, " There was no waltzing
You write with an anachronistic pen ;
Those ladies too, were never known to
Wore no false hair — were innocent of
paint 1 "
Hold! Not so fast! I merely said they
Where have I ever hinted that they painted ?
Into the boudoir I have not intruded,
Nor once to rouge or water-fall alluded :
As to the waltz, — the license of Romance
May make a Schottische of a country-dance !
Alas ! " the days of chivalry are o'er ! "
Like " Good old Grimes," we ne'er shall see
them more !
Our Parlor Knights, our modern Squires
Are not like those of Froissart's Middle
QUI CAPIT, FACIT. I 53
Obsequious toadies ! how they fawn upon
All who in Fashion's gilded circles run,
Or bask in beams of Fortune's fickle sun :
Regarding home and home-folk with disgust,
As links that bind them to plebeian dust, —
While they would fain be deemed " the
Upper Crust ! "
Abroad, in daintiest foppery of dress,
They out-French Frenchmen, in their poli-
But deem it courteous to be very curt, —
Or rather pusillanimously pert,
Where there s no 'danger of their getting
And when the role of Chesterfield don't pay,
Ceasing the part of " Gentleman " to play,
They cast its tiresome toggery away !
TAKING A SNOOZE.
" While I nodded, nearly napping."
HP HE drowsy hum of the murmuring bees,
Hovering over the lavender trees,
Steals through half-shut lattices, —
As awake or asleep, I scarce know which,
I lazily loll near a window-niche,
Whose gossamer curtains are softly stirred
By the gauzy wings of a humming-bird.
From airy heights, the feathery down,
Blown from the nettle's nodding crown,
Weary with wandering everywhere,
Sails slowly to earth through the sultry air ;
• While indolent zephyrs, " oppressed with
Stolen from many a balmy bloom,
Are falling asleep within the room.
TAKING A SNOOZI.. I 55
Now floating afar, now hovering near,
Dull to the eye and dumb to the ear,
Grow the shapes that I see, the sounds
that I hear;
Every murmur around dies into my dream,
Save only the song of a sylvan stream,
Whose burden, set to a somnolent tune,
Has lulled the whispering leaves of June.
All things are hazy, and dreamy, and dim ;
The flies in lazier circles swim ;
On slumberous wings, on muffled feet,
Imaginary sounds retreat ;
And the clouds — "Elysian isles that lie
In the bright blue sea of summer sky —
Fade out, before my closing eye.